WHO KILLED SCOTT MACKLEM?
Author’s Note: Every wrongful conviction causes dual torment: the torment of the innocent yet imprisoned individual, and the social torment that the actual perpetrator remains free. This blog seeks to focus primarily on the latter, in the hope that we will gain more knowledge about the murderer of Scott Macklem.
This post makes several references to “the wrong man,” whose name is Fred Freeman (aka Temujin Kensu). This post discusses a horrendous turn of events involving this innocent yet imprisoned individual.
Post #6: Who Cares? Part Two
It was three years ago and a world away when I wrote a post that I didn’t realize would be one of a series. Unfortunately, we have to add some more names to the list of people who don’t care about who killed Scott. And the most unfortunate thing about that is one of those people appeared in my last post, as one of the people who did care. Her name: Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel.
Nessel was such a refreshing change from her predecessor Bill Schuette. One of her initiatives was to actually, honestly, investigate the integrity of convictions that might have been wrongful. Nessel didn’t form a “wrongful conviction unit,” or continue the sham of one that existed during the previous administration. She formed a Conviction Integrity Unit. To anyone familiar with the Scott Macklem murder case and the egregious conviction that occurred, “integrity” was a bright beacon of hope that, finally, the truth would be honored, and an honest evaluation would occur.
Caring about who killed Scott Macklem is really caring about the truth. For me, it’s not about one person or another, taking sides in a battle between a political prisoner and a political system. It’s about the truth. It’s about what really happened, even if the “why” is painful. The whole thing is painful. Someone was killed in cold blood. Another was pawned into prison by a series of cold-hearted actions.
These actions might seem random or non-deliberate to the untrained eye, or without sufficient background to put them in context. To others, the series of events might even seem so utterly bizarre that it couldn’t have actually happened. But when we review this case from the moment that shotgun blast occurred in his college parking lot, it’s clear that Scott Macklem’s killer isn’t the one serving time.
The shotgun blast itself raises multiple issues that were simply overlooked on the word of a teenage girl whose pregnant sister just lost her fiancé: The method of “execution,” the car in the parking lot, the accuracy of the hit, the paucity of evidence at the scene, the timing of the hit, the backpack, the hypnotized witness, the never finding the gun, and the list goes on. From just the hit.
A teenager’s astute crime-solving skills weren’t the only reason these issues were overlooked. Certainly, the police didn’t look at any other potential suspects once they zeroed in on the wrong man. But the police aren’t the only ones who dropped the ball. We can’t forget about defense counsel. Defense counsel was court-appointed after a deputy working in the jail suggested to the wrong man that he was a great attorney. This led to an actual request to the judge that this particular attorney be appointed.
Was the poly-addicted and impaired attorney David Dean “hand-fed” to our helpless and innocent defendant? In almost any other case, I’d suggest this concept was paranoid, even delusional. In this particular case, I sincerely believe that it’s more likely than not, that Dean was the perfect foil a crafty, heavily Republican-supported prosecutor, who needed a conviction in this case involving the murder of a popular local Republican mayor’s son.
Dean couldn’t identify multiple issues in the case, much less surrounding the hit. If you can think of a way in which a criminal defendant could be ineffectively represented, I guarantee it happened in this case. As an initial matter, he was strung out on alcohol and drugs during the time of this case. His addictions were layered on top of his almost certain knowledge of the sham proceedings, and possibly even knowledge of the actual circumstances of the professional hit/murder. He was part of the drug world; an active participant if you will. His impairments resulted in the reversal on appeal of every conviction his clients received during a two-year period, except this one.
Let’s move on and just ignore the physical impossibility of the wrong guy actually committing the crime and being where he was a few hours before and after. The prosecutor solved that problem by bringing in his own personal pilot as an expert to testify that it was possible to fly in, murder Scott, and fly back to where the wrong guy was before and after. The defense counsel was too impaired to bother even attempting to do any meaningful cross-examination. It’s possible he was admiring the assortment of ninja weapons that the prosecutor prominently displayed daily in the courtroom, without objection, even though none of them belonged to the defendant. And none of them were a shotgun. Much less the shotgun. Indeed, no physical evidence tied this man to the murder. There was only this theory about a plane. I’m not sure when “theories” became “evidence” but it remained unchallenged.
I really, really don’t mean to sound glib. I’m trying really, really hard not to sound bitter. There are so many things that point to the actual innocence of the wrong guy, a guy who has spent 35 years in prison for a crime that someone else committed. It’s overwhelmingly obvious to so many people from so many backgrounds and perspectives, even across the world, that this case resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
Dana Nessel’s Conviction Integrity Unit gave us hope that the truth would be sought, recognized, honored, respected, and ultimately used effectively to end this miscarriage of justice. Instead, in a most bizarre and utter 180, the file was abruptly closed. The explanation they provided is nonsensical. This adds to the countless reasons to believe that this miscarriage of justice occurred and continues, because of deliberate, behind-the-scenes, maneuvering, local politics and political pressure. That’s why I call the wrong guy a “political prisoner.”
If those who don’t care about the truth, who don’t care about who killed Scott Macklem, think this is over, they are sorely mistaken. Zero is the lowest possible level of integrity and that’s what the CIU has demonstrated. We have to expect, and get, more from our elected officials. There are plenty of us left who do care about the truth. If there were ever an example of requiring the truth to set someone free, this is certainly it.
Oddly or not, in my heart I believe that Scott Macklem is probably angrier about this charade than any of us. He wants us to know who took his life away; actually, who took two lives away.
Each and every one of us should be equal in our outrage over this blatant disregard for truth and humanity. Who killed Scott Macklem? Every single person who doesn’t care.
Stay tuned: In my next blog post, I will discuss one logical and overlooked step that can be taken to help answer the question, Who Killed Scott Macklem? We need to continue the rallying cry for justice!